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Shooting the Messenger: How to Play Against Controlling the Message

Originally published at: https://stimhack.com/shooting-the-messenger-how-to-play-against-controlling-the-message/

Discuss the latest article here.


Interesting advice on running early, personally I’ve adopted the rule of not running turn 1 if I can’t fight off HNN. Often taking one more economy turn at the start is enough to keep me pretty safe going into the midgame.

Additionally, I should note that Queens Gambit is nuts vs CTM; both for fast recovery from 0 cred, and for dodging unrezzed MVTs. A lot of corps don’t seem to be playing around it.

The article also didn’t really discuss when to go tag-me. I’d be interested to hear how people choose when to go nuts and take risks / stop clearing?

When to go tag-me: When you’re going to win that turn, or are absolutely confident that the tag punishment that the Corp has can’t hurt you.

When not to go tag-me: All other times.

When you don’t want to go tag-me but have to anyway: When you play the HHN lottery early by trashing a Sensie and lose.

What to do when that happens: Play Medium and hope.

These rules obviously don’t apply to dedicated tag-me decks like Hate Bear or DLR.


Haven’t read the article yet, but I hope that now people finally will stop complaining about CTM, while not playing correctly against it.


This will absolutely not happen


I’m not a world champion, but all of this advice looks spot on to me from playing both sides of this match-up.

An important point hidden in here is: sometimes you have to take a risk that may leave you open to getting tagged. Playing 100% safe will most often lose to CtM.

I felt like they were a little hard on NACH. Having it out means that the fast breaking news combo costs you 4 creds rather than being basically game over.

Now, at times, losing 4 creds IS game over, but for a Kate deck that is entering late game (you have 3+ drip, all breakers, 1 or more RDI) one of the only ways that CtM can come back is to stick the breaking news and kneecap you. NACH can save you from that.

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I think you hit the nail on the head with your description. In that very specific situation, NACH is great, but most of the time it doesn’t do much for the runner.

Losing tempo to stealing agendas will give CtM the space it needs to gain an economic advantage to land tags and win. Or just score out and win. And again, NACH does nothing against the ID ability.

It’s not worthless, but there are much better hate cards to include for the CtM matchup. Networking and NACH both give great value against SYNC, which is a much better reason to include them.

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Not to disagree with most of what you said, but NACH is usually pretty tops vs Sync and their tagging ice.

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Yes, NACH and Networking are awesome against SYNC. If you are worried about SYNC, these are great includes.

If you are only worried about CtM, they are only okay; there are some better options to consider.


Are there any cards that punish asset spam?

Whizzard has a nice tool to help him cope with the spam. Does the pool have any cards that actually punish the Corp for doing asset spam? I can’t think of any.


NACH is also good against the 24/7 decks out there, of which there were many, even in the top 16. SYNC of course, but also NEH and even some Haarpsichord decks. BOOM is the obvious threat, but even 24/7 into Closed Accounts and Hard Hitting is a serious threat.

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Dirty Laundry is a great tool to compress clicks and play around MVT in the early game

Fantastic article @vinegarymink


I never questioned that NACH was a good include because of SYNC and NEH, and hopefully I made that clear in the article. I never intended for my paragraph on it to be a judgement of the card as a whole. I just wanted to express that its not really a silver bullet against CtM, as I feel people could make that mistake.


I don’t think so. Astrolabe lets you benefit from asset spam, but it doesn’t hurt the corp.

I think that we are long overdue for a runner card that either actively punishes the corp for creating new remotes (like a runner version of Scarcity of Resources) or another card that directly benefits the runner for horizontal corp play (like a runner version of Diversified Portfolio).

Part of me thinks that would be a bridge too far (since tech for other strategies, like Clot vs. FA or Plascrete vs. meat damage mitigate corp strategies rather than actively benefiting from them). Then again, I’ve Had Worse vs. PE (or other non-boom flatline decks) is basically free clickless draw in some games.

Not sure. It’s an interesting question, but it’s probably best for the game’s stability if strong counters make a strategy go from punishing to neutral rather than punishing to beneficial. Too much in that direction would turn the game into a glorified rock-paper-scissors.

After much playtime with various Magnum Opus Kate builds (I never learned to play Nexus, can’t work around tempo hit) I came to conclusion, that if I have to choose betwen spending 2 inf points on Clot or two deckslots on NACH (and another 2 on Film Critic), I’d rather choose the second option.

When CtM builds that one remote, all Clot do is making you run for agenda and expose yourself to the HHN. So yeah, Astro from SanSan is a danger, but sometimes its better to just pay 4 creds to avoid BN into something nasty and go back to building boardstate.

But my decks are kinda toolboxy, so I keep Clot against HB matchups.

Hacktivist Meeting is the closest thing to a card that actively punishes the use of lots of remotes.

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After reading the article and playing ctm decks who had good openings, i found the asnwer to be “play DLR”